Archive for June, 2009

Modern Earth

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

I used IE5 today.

I think most places using IE6, or even IE5, are also places which are very locked down, and most usually can only access their own system. This means it’s not incredibly important to develop according to IE5, and sometimes IE6, but it also means their market share is technically higher than what we see.

As I used a locked-down computer, though, I once again realized that I just couldn’t handle it. Quite simple, I will not work for a company where I can’t run my own programs. I visited my old highschool, today, and they had so many restrictions that it was hard just to copy an image from my flash drive to one of the computers. Frankly, I’m surprised the flashdrive was able to install itself.
-No right-clicking
-No accessing C:
-No executing programs (it used to be we just needed to rename them ‘wordpad.exe’)
-No copything things to the desktop
-Only a few megabytes of space on a network drive
-No scrollwheel on the mouse

The library was further restrictive, and wouldn’t allow me to view source. View source! It’s like my bread, and they took it from me, as well as the wine of my freedom. I was starving, on those machines.

While I was at the school, I talked to a teacher there who teaches students about business plans and stuff like that, in the hopes that he might be able to refer some start-ups to me. He pointed me to Modern Earth Web Design, which is a Winnipeg business about ten years old that the school has worked with for a while. Something like that.
Apparently, Winnipeg is becoming a hotspot for web developers. Who would have guessed?
Modern Earth is apparently the largest web design company in Manitoba, but I had done some searches for web designers in Winnipeg and they had never come up. Luck of the draw, I suppose.

So, I’m going to have to do some contacting, and put myself out there. I’ve got my heart set on freelancing, really, but maybe I could get some recommendations or a few pointers. I could always freelance while working somewhere.

New: Nintendo Pulse Thing!

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Nintendo just announced a new peripheral device: A sensor that clips onto your finger and measures your pulse. It sounds kind of simple and/or stupid, but I think Nintendo will be the first company to bring us completely immersive and realistic gaming. We’ve all played those games where you’re running around and you hear your character’s heartbeat in the background. Imagine if that followed the rhythms of your own heart? What if your character became shaky and jumpy when your own heart rate increased?
It looks like everyone is just thinking of fitness programs, right now, which the clip would certainly complement — But there are a good number of future applications for it, too.

What about the future? Nintendo has used the wii-mote in their guitars, steering wheels, guns, and more. They’ve got the balance pad, an old-style controller (old-style is a funny concept, because PS3 and XBOX 360 are still using them), a secondary tiltable/swingable device, and now the heart-rate sensor. They’ll add more, before the console is through: Imagine some sort of head- or ear-mounted device which measures the angle and direction of your head, which might move the camera angle slightly to give you a better view of your surroundings, and might make 3D applications easier (there’s already been 3D tutorials implemented by strapping a wii-mote to a helmet.

Then you’ve got sensors for your feet, hands, head, and heart. What’s left? Maybe they can read some simple brain signals, like blood flow, to control something else. (A game where doing math increases the potency of your magic spells?) I haven’t heard anything about microphones and voice technology, but I’m sure they have that.

Sony and Microsoft, meanwhile, will be left with as many buttons as fingers can touch, and little else. The days of hand-based games are going to slowly draw to a close, the way joysticks have.